veterans

Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr

The largest city named for Christopher Columbus has called off its observance of the divisive holiday that honors the explorer, making a savvy move to tie the switch to a politically safe demographic: veterans.

The new National Veterans Memorial And Museum.
Daniel Konik / Ohio Public Radio

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will open to the public next month. But this one of a kind facility isn’t in the nation’s capital - it's in Ohio’s capital city.

A Summit County program that helps veterans who’ve been charged with a felony is getting a big financial boost.

Valor Court is a program for non-violent felons who have served in the military. Susan Sweeney, assistant court executive officer, says there are a lot of them.

“They’re there. It’s just a matter of having the program capacity to meet the needs.”

President Trump's second VA secretary, Robert Wilkie, was confirmed 86-9 by the Senate on Monday. He takes the helm of the second largest department in the U.S. government, with more than 350,000 employees, a nearly $200 billion budget and almost 20 million American veterans depending on it for care and benefits.

That may sound like a herculean task. Now add that the department has been in turmoil since Trump sacked his first VA secretary, David Shulkin, with dozens of senior staff, subject matter experts and career officials quitting or being pushed out.

A congressman from Massachusetts spent part of this weekend campaigning for a would-be congressman from Northeast Ohio. The link is that they’re both Democrats, both Ivy League grads and both vets of America’s most-recent wars. We talked with the two about the increasingly visible role of veterans in this year’s elections.

Nick Evans / WOSU

The evening crowd slowly wanders in at American Legion post 532 in Southwest Columbus. It’s a Tuesday, when they do a weekly taco dinner.

Post Commander Bernie Brogan served in the Army as a Military Policeman during the Vietnam era. He says all the barstools will be gone within an hour.

Infinite Impact

The Veterans Memorial and Museum has been in development in downtown Columbus since 2015, but last week it added an adjective: It's now the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.

A major Veterans Affairs reform has passed the Senate by 92-5 and is on its way to the White House. The $55 billion bill will change how the VA pays for private care, expand a VA caregiver program and start a review of the VA's aging infrastructure. President Trump has said he will sign it — and it's sure to be touted among his biggest legislative achievements.

John Seewer / Associated Press

Like so many American soldiers returning home from World War II, Bob Barger started working a new job and going to college. Once he settled into his career and raising a family, finishing school was no longer a priority.

Sherrod Brown

Sen. Sherrod Brown says the Trump administration cost the Veterans Affairs and veterans valuable time through the firing of former VA Secretary David Shulkin and botched attempt to name his replacement, Dr. Ronny Jackson.  

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn from consideration for the post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Department, has been accused of creating a hostile work environment, drinking while on duty and improperly prescribing drugs to staff during his time as White House doctor to two administrations, according to Montana Sen. Jon Tester.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown says he hasn’t decided whether he will vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The Ohio Democrat sits on the Senate VA committee, which could hold hearings on Dr. Ronny Jackson’s nomination as early as next week.

Shuffle: Project D.R.E.W. Helps Veterans Heal Through Song

Feb 1, 2018

Editor's note: This is an encore of a Shuffle that originally ran Feb. 1.

Music is being used as a healing tool for some Northeast Ohio veterans. For this week’s Shuffle, we hear about a new project that pairs songwriters with soldiers.

On a recent Sunday afternoon in Avon Lake, a handful of veterans and their families gathered for a concert -- just for them.

Seth Herald / WOSU

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that would extend mental health care to military service members transitioning out of the Armed Forces and back to civilian life.

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